Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to gear up for this week’s spiritual boot camp as we continue to look at James 4. We will be tackling some tough topics such as submission, temptation, sin, humility, our words and judgment. Buckle up because it might just be a bumpy ride!
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Verse 7 is directly tied to verse 6 where we were told “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. If we want to humble ourselves, we must first submit to the Lord. “Submission is not the same as obedience. Instead, it is the surrender of one’s will, which leads to obedience.” Humility begins with submitting to the Lord’s plans, desires and will for our lives and requires us to lay down our own in order to pick up His. Then we have to follow up our submission with a willingness to be obedient.
It is important to note that we can resist the enemy. He is NOT more powerful than our God and he does NOT have the power to overcome us.
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
This verse is very clear that we have everything we need to resist the enemy – we have a faithful God and His Holy Spirit dwells within us empowering us to follow Him. He doesn’t allow us “to be tempted beyond what” we “can bear”. In addition, He provides us a way out. So often when we are going to do something we aren’t supposed to do we get the sense that we aren’t supposed to do it. We hear that inner voice telling us we shouldn’t do it. That voice is the Holy Spirit trying to provide us a way out – a choice to submit to the Lord or fall into the temptation of the enemy.
Other times, He actually provides a way out. When we are tempted to do something we shouldn’t do and we get a phone call from a friend asking us to do something else during that time instead. We may chalk these ways out up as coincidences and be grateful they have come along, but they are not coincidences or just great timing – they are the way out provided by our Heavenly Father.
When have you heard that inner voice telling you not to do something, not to say something or not to go somewhere and you ignored it? Did you find yourself doing something, saying something or being somewhere you shouldn’t have been? When was the last time you were provided a way out of temptation by the Lord? What situation or relationship are you in right now where you need His help? Are you submitting to His will or are you going your own way? In what areas of your life do you need to resist the enemy? Submit those areas to the Lord and follow that submission up with obedience to do His will rather than your own.
All Scripture references are from http://www.biblegateway.com
- Quote from “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary”, Vol. 12, Zondervan